Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia has announced Amanda Caldwell as their new head women’s swimming & diving coach. She comes to the school after spending the last 6 years as an assistant coach at Rice.
During her six seasons at Rice, the Owls have captured three Conference USA titles, as well as the 2014 CSCAA (Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America) Invitational Championships. Individually, Rice swimmers captured 28 C-USA meet titles in six seasons and the school qualified swimmers for seven different NCAA Championship events in those seasons.
She also spent 4 seasons as a volunteer assistant at Georgia Tech while coaching at the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta. She received her bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State in 2006, where she was a 4-year letter winner on the varsity team.
Caldwell replaces Laura Thomas, who spent the last 2 seasons at Georgia Southern head coach. Georgia Southern placed 4th out of 9 teams at each of the last two CCSA conference championship meets.
Caldwell was a recipient of the CSCAA’s 2018 Jean Freeman Scholarship. The Jean Freeman Scholarship is given annually to six collegiate assistant coaches whose exceptional contributions have brought recognition to their institution, and whose leadership, integrity, honesty, competitive attitude and personal graciousness epitomize those characteristics reflected by Jean Freeman. The scholarship will provide each of recipients convention/coach academy registration, transportation and lodging to the annual CSCAA Convention and Clinic.
“I see so much opportunity for growth with the Georgia Southern program,” Caldwell said. “I really got a good sense of where it could go during the interview process, just stepping on campus and meeting people. There are a lot of great club programs and successful high schools in the southeast that have talent you can tap into. And I know the student-athletes who are already in the program are talented academically, talented athletically and very active in the community. That’s the kind of program I want to be part of. I want our team members to be more than just athletes, I am looking for the whole package. That’s who I see myself recruiting to Georgia Southern University. I’d like to express my most sincere gratitude to Tom Kleinlein, Lisa Sweany, Brandy Clouse and Chris Geyerman for giving me this incredible opportunity at Georgia Southern. I’m thrilled and beyond excited to lead this group of extraordinary women to new heights.
“The past few years at Rice, Coach [Seth] Huston has given me so much freedom in getting me involved in all aspects of running the program,” Caldwell said. “I was fortunate that I had room to do that. I’ve already been stepping on deck, acting and feeling like I was a head coach. I know I’m ready. I am forever grateful for my time at Rice and for all the relationships I’ve made. The students and staff who make up this unique culture have been so supportive of me and my professional goals. I could not have asked for a better environment to grow into the coach I am today.”
The school has also confirmed that Kristin Walker, the program’s assistant coach (who is actually a graduate assistant), will return next season to work with Caldwell.
Georgia Southern contributed to this report.